How Old Am I? I Forgot.

By: Chaunte McClure

Chaunte McClureMy husband often hears: Have you seen my [insert color here] shirt? Honey, have you seen my keys? Where are my glasses?

Based on those questions, you can easily conclude that I lose track of things at home and because my husband is here with me, I guess I kind of expect him to have answers. But there’s one thing both of us lose track of and though it’s not tangible, it’s something that we need from time to time for important documents or just because someone asks. What is it? Our age.

Ladies, how many of you lose track of your age?! That’s where I am in life and apparently I’m in good company.

Last Sunday I posed this question to my Facebook friends and it resulted in a 53-comment thread with several women and a few men admitting to forgetting their age.

For the first 21 years of my life, remembering my age was a no-brainer. Now I have to really think about it when someone asks, or I just give a number and most likely it’s not the right number.

I wonder why that happens? Why do we lose track of our age? I think my forgetfulness started after I turned 22. I could easily remember the milestone years like 25, 30, and 35 maybe, but the years in between seem to have gotten lost in my memory bank.

Today I revisited a Facebook post from December and I noticed that I told someone that I’m 37. Wrong! I’ve been thinking that I will be 38 in March when in fact, I will be 39. Thanks to my high school classmate for getting me back on track. I’m not sure how long it will last, but since 40 is another milestone, I’m sure to be good to go next year.

I have to admit, I am the blogger who told you to tell your age proudly. I guess I need to add an addendum to that – tell your age proudly and accurately.

If any of you have scientific reasons why we forget our age, please share.

Transition

By: Sherree Thompson

SherreeWith the onset of New Year comes renewed goals and resolutions.

Our goals for our financial future, for our children’s education and of course, personal growth, cannot be met without change. For these goals to resonate, I must return to the world of employment. As you know from my last post, my son just had his fifth birthday. His birthday also marks the anniversary of me being home and out of the workforce.

I know far too well that I am not alone in the world of stay-at-home-moms. This community has been really good to me. The support I have found in them has been amazing. I also know many of them who have returned to work for a number of reasons. And that is how I am finding comfort. Knowing I am not alone when “returning to the real world” (as some have said to me) somehow brings solitude in such a nerve-wracking decision. What I didn’t know or expect is how I actually feel about being at this particular step in life. I am a freaked-out, scared, nervous wreck. I mean five years is a long time (or “A bunch” as Daisy says) to not have worked. I’m not saying that balancing the house, family, and the rest of the crazy isn’t work, because we all know it is. But to be accountable to someone that is giving me the vehicle to reach these life goals is scary. Having to be ON-TIME in itself is almost impossible for me right now. And then to function at someone else’s level of expectation and be accountable for maintaining (or surpassing) that level is major. I struggle with meeting my own expectations. Yes, I realize I said accountable twice. I felt the situation warranted the overuse of the word.

I always knew that I would go back to work. There were days I’d beg to go back. I just never expected that when the time actually came that I would feel this amount of heartbreak having to leave the children. There is worry that goes hand-in-hand with entrusting someone else to fill my shoes on a daily basis. I’ll take comfort in my mom-community. Knowing they are there giving me their trusted contacts, ways to navigate being a working mom, and just cheering me on. I take comfort in knowing I am not alone during this milestone transition and trust that God’s plan is in place.

Let’s Do This!

Traveling From the Sofa

By: Lydia Scott

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I don’t know about you guys, but I often dream of picking up all my junk and all my people and moving to a quaint little cottage on the side of a hill in Scotland. Heck, I’ve never even been over the big pond, so who knows – I might hate Scotland. My responsibilities keep me from visiting any time soon, so like a lot of us, I settle for day dreams and Google tours. I will also gladly settle for Asheville, NC, which I have visited and 100% ADORE. Have you been? Gah! It’s heaven, and all the angels eat at the Admiral after having beignets at Mayfels. But I digress…

And y’all…guess what I stumbled upon recently? A new website that’s the equivalent of going to Asheville, NC and asking where the locals go so you can get the real flavor of the town. It’s called Findery. Findery is like Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Blogger, Google Earth and a history buff had a baby. It’s really new, so there’s still tons of room to grow, but what a fantastic wealth of non-polished, down-to-earth information there is! I’ve already started perusing my favorite places and checking out their Daily Challenges.

Check it out and look me up while you’re there! www.findery.com

The Magic of Christmas Delivered Via a Snow Man

By: Mary Pat Baldauf

It was a cold, rainy Christmas Eve, and I was more than a little down. It was our fourth Christmas season without Dad, but it seemed to be the most difficult one yet. The season seemed to sneak up on me, and I was totally unprepared. The weather was horrible. And Snowman feederquite frankly, I just wasn’t feeling the spirit of Christmas. All of that changed as I pulled into the driveway that afternoon.

Something on the front porch caught my eye. It was a large snowman bird feeder, complete with a large red bow. I figured someone had left a gift for us, and I walked in through the front door to check it out.

On the snowman, there was a letter to “The Baldauf Sisters” that read: “Yesterday I lived with another. Before that, I lived with yet another. Starting today, my home is with you. But only for the next 364 days. Why you? It’s because the place I lived before thinks the world of you. Next Christmas Eve, it’ll be your turn to share the spirit of Christmas with someone whose light shines as brightly as yours.”

I broke down in happy tears, touched that someone had thought of us in such a delightful way. Our anonymous Santa blessed us with magic of Christmas that we were so lacking, and to whoever they are, I thank them profusely. I can’t wait until next Christmas Eve to return the favor.

Hope

By: Leah Prescott

It’s New Year’s day here in the Prescott home and I’m sitting on my couch contemplating my New Year’s resolutions. I have always loved the idea of turning over a new leaf in January, giving myself a fresh start and a fresh perspective. As usual, it’s mostly a matter of whittling down the slew of things I need to work on into a manageable list. This year, my first thought was to focus on home management. As I have mentioned, staying organized New-Year_Resolutions_listis not my best skill. Throw in a part-time job, hobbies that have grown into responsibilities and that teeny-tiny task of educating the future generation…..let’s just say the dust to floorboard ratio is at an all-time high. And don’t even talk to me about the laundry. Unless you want to come wash some.

Or I could put my energy towards a less tangible goal. I’d love to make creativity a more pronounced part of my daily life. Although I’ve always felt God gave me a gift for creative thinking, it’s something that has sadly fallen by the wayside since motherhood and her responsibilities hit. (At least to a certain extent….there is an amount of creativity in trying to walk the dog in the rain, put a toddler down for a nap, empty a load of groceries, mop up spilled eggnog, and baste a turkey in the span of negative 10 minutes.)

On the other hand, maybe I will attempt to drink more water, get rid of all the clothes I don’t wear, learn a foreign language, expand my cooking efforts, buy more locally/organically/ethically food, or apply eyeliner. (Notice I don’t mention exercise. That’s right, it’s too unlikely to even make the short list.) All of these are things I’d love to make a part of my life. But the truth is, if I write them ALL down on the list, it’s almost guaranteed I’ll give up long before February and probably before this post even hits cyberspace.

I have certainly succeeded in discouraging myself, and you guys are probably not even reading any more. So where does that leave us? Barely into 2015 and already bummed about the New Year? No, because I have to remind myself of what is true. Truth: I can never live up to my own expectations. Truth: I will always disappoint. Truth:  I will make mistakes and I will fail again and again. But despite all this, there is very good reason to hope.

My hope is not in my performance. It’s not in miraculously renovating my home with $80 and sheer willpower. It’s not in discovering the best meal plan or the most effective cleaning methods. It’s not in training for a marathon, or reading more books in 2015. My hope, and the reason that I can joyfully enter the New Year, is in Jesus Christ alone. Because the truth is, without faith in Him, I would feel like a failure each and every day of my life.

So if you have already failed yourself this year; if you’ve already let down your family, and dropped the ball, please take heart. Perfection doesn’t bring peace. Faith in the Perfect One does. So I choose to place my hope in Him this year. I hope you have a peaceful start to the New Year!

Nine Days In

By: Lara Winburn

New Year’s resolutions make me tired. My inbox is filled with gym fads and diet meal planning ideas. My Facebook feed shows people organizing their linen closets and “junk drawers.” (I mean, doesn’t that make it a “neat drawer?”) It is all so exhausting before my New Year's Resolutionschampagne-filled head has even cleared. Don’t get me wrong, I love the optimism of a new year, clean slate and all, but honestly by the end of it all I feel like my resolution should be to nap more.

I have numerous self-improvement projects in process as we speak but all of this talk of “a new year, a new you” can be a little daunting for a pleasant mess like myself. I struggle all year to be a more organized, fun, sweet wife, mom, friend and daughter. In January, I find out that people are cleaning things I did not know were dirty and eating “clean” foods I have never heard of. I want to be neater, thinner, fitter, more at peace, really I do. But sometimes that first day of the year is just a reminder of how far I have to go.

So as I sign up for Weight Watchers AGAIN, I will not make that a New Year’s resolution but just another step in the process to be a better me. I will add to my calendar more volunteer time at my church and in my community but not as a resolution, just a part of my life. Seems to me resolutions often need a little more fun and probably would be easier to keep too, huh? Maybe my resolution this year will be to read more books or go on more dates with that cute husband of mine. One year my resolution was to go to the beach more. I kept that one and never once regretted it. We are 9 days in to 2015 and that means it is not too late to edit your resolution. As you are spending more time at the gym (I hope to see you there) or alphabetizing your canned goods (I would have to have a brain transplant), be sure to add some fun to your resolution list and just try to adopt that self-improvement stuff to your February, June and September life. I will resolve to add more play time, more kindness to myself and others, and maybe more naps.

2015: New Year, New You?

By: Lexington Medical Center’s Laura Stepp, MA RD LD CDE

Every New Year’s Eve millions of people think about or do make a resolution. But, what is a resolution? According to the Merrian-Webster dictionary, a resolution is “the act of new years resolutionsresolving” something. Resolving is further described as “the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones.”

Often when people make a New Year’s Resolution they resolve to change something big or to do something great, better, or more. While everyone’s resolutions are genuine and meant to be helpful to either self or community, a resolution to do something big such as run a marathon, do a triathlon, walk 10,000 steps a day, or the #1 resolution – to Lose Weight or Be Healthier – often ends up unachieved. What starts out with so much enthusiasm at the beginning of the year generally fades by February or March. We see it all the time; the health clubs are crowded so you wait in line for the treadmill or stationary bike and the exercise classes are full.

Unfortunately by February and (definitely by March) the health club is almost empty. Why do we see this? What happened? Did everyone just give up on all those resolutions? Did they decide losing weight or being healthier isn’t important? Of course not! They likely forgot the definition of resolution: “The act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones”.

We have to be SMART about our resolutions in order to achieve them. Like everything we do, there are steps to achievement.

SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant and Time Bound

Here is an example. You resolve to Change your Diet to Be Healthier:

Specific: What about your diet do you want to change or improve? Decide what this means for you. It could mean:

  • Cut back on portion sizes
  • Eat less processed food
  • Eat out less often
  • Eat less fast food
  • Eat more vegetables and/or fruit?

Then state exactly what you want to change. For example,

“I will switch my chips at lunch for vegetables”.

“I will eat fruit versus something sweet/candy for a snack”

Measurable: Give your goal a numeric value. For example,

“Daily, I will consume ½ cup chopped vegetables with my sandwich.”

“I will add one extra serving of vegetables to my dinner.”

“I will bring my lunch to work three times a week.”

Attainable: Think small – one change at a time. Work on one meal at a time, one day at a time. Making more than one change every 3-4 days can become overwhelming which can lead to all good intentions being abandoned.

Realistic: Honestly ask your self, “Can I do this?” And, state your change, your new habit in a positive manner. For example:

“I am going to eat one piece of fruit once a day for lunch or afternoon for a snack instead of chips or cookies.”

“I am going to add one new vegetable weekly.”

“Every week I am going to experiment with one new vegetable, preparing it in different ways to see how many ways I can enjoy it.”

Time Bound: Set a firm time limit to achieve a goal and gauge your progress. For instance, consider making one change a week. You could keep a food log for one week to check your progress. When you have accomplished the initial goal then set a new goal to build on the one you have accomplished.

Changing one’s lifestyle is a journey and must be treated like a long term adventure. Breaking down a goal into manageable parts makes it easier to see progress and stay motivated. It also allows to adjustments when necessary.

Be SMART and have a Happy New Year!

If you are interested in having help with your healthy nutrition goals, contact Laura Stepp, Outpatient Dietitian, at 936-4132.